I’m not sure if it’s the pressure of the deadline or impostor syndrome talking. But most times when I’m designing there is a magical time of self doubt that creeps in. I suddenly see what I’ve worked on so far and already start to feel I could do better. While it’s not comfortable, I think it’s a great thing to experience because you never want to feel complacent. You always want to keep pushing. Over time, I’m learning to recognize this discomfort as a normal part of creation and embrace it. I’ve also learned that preventing my deadlines from being too drawn out ensures finishing a project before I rip it all apart and start over.
A recent example was a freelance project I took on at the end of 2015. It wasn’t that I hated what I had already designed, in fact I knew I was on the right track overall. But I wanted to exhibit my exploration as comprehensively as possible. I wasn’t yet sure what was missing, or what would make my intuition (and client) feel satisfied, but after doing more research on adjectives for their brand, it clicked. I knew I was on the way to a great presentation.
This ultimately meant opening up my tool box and adding a different type of logo into the mix that I felt could work with their brand in a way my prior ideas hadn't. I drew a hand lettered piece to serve their needs of communicating experience. Once I went that route, I felt I exhausted my findings and was able to move forward with discussion. I had gotten over the hump again, unscathed. But how?
By trusting myself, and the process. And not letting it get to me. I could easily talked myself into a hole and give up if I wanted to. I could have chosen to send the client everything I had so far and feel it was good enough. But that isn’t what they are paying for. They want the best of me and they deserve that. I deserve to provide it.
A bit back, I wrote an article about how to deal with long term projects without feeling burned out. I think a lot of those same principles apply here. Focus on objectives and always ask why. Go back to the beginning and revisit what you’re trying to accomplish. With products, user testing will help determine direction and often open up your eyes to things you may have missed. Team members reminding one another what they are working toward is a great way to accomplish this as well.
However you get to it, over it and move on from it, you got this.